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THE MAPPING INEQUALITY PROJECT

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THE EPA ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE AND SYSTEMIC RACISM SPEAKER SERIES FEATURES THE MAPPING INEQUALITY PROJECT

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The Mapping Inequality Project created a foundational resource for unprecedented research, education, organizing, and policy advocacy on redlining and current environmental challenges. It provides publicly accessible digitized versions of redlining maps for about 200 cities. This has already generated an explosion of trailblazing work in the area of environmental justice (EJ) and systemic racism. Two of its founders will discuss the genesis, philosophy, methodology, and impact of this game changing project.

Featured Speakers:

  • Dr. Robert Nelson, Director, Digital Scholarship Laboratory, University of Richmond
  • Dr. LaDale Winling, Associate Professor of History, Virginia Tech

Moderated by Charles Lee, Senior Policy Advisor for Environmental Justice, EPA

Background: The EJ and Systemic Racism Speaker Series will illustrate how addressing systemic racism is highly relevant to the missions of EPA and other environmental agencies. Understanding and addressing systemic racism and the roots of disproportionate environmental and public health impacts is key to integrating EJ in environmental policies and programs and achieving environmental protection for all people. We can all learn from the highly substantive and inspiring work already taking place in this arena across the nation. The objectives of this speaker series are:

  • Provide information on cutting-edge work in science, policy, and practice to strengthen the evidentiary link between historical inequities and current environmental conditions;
  • Inspire leaders and staff in government, communities, academia, business and industry, and civil society to think about how systemic racism relates to their own work by hearing from leading national policy experts, researchers and practitioners;
  • Align government leaders and staff with the leading work taking place in this area and create a cohesive environment for fruitful partnerships; and
  • Create intellectual ferment about dealing with systemic racism in a rigorous manner so that EPA and other environmental agencies can overcome their historical aversion to talking about race and systemic racism.

We begin this series with a set of five sessions that thoroughly examines the relationship of redlining and current environmental disparities. The recent National Center for Civil and Human Rights webinar (below) on EJ, redlining and the climate crisis provides a good overview of this subject. Future speakers will be:

  • Dr. Jeremy Hoffman, Science Museum of Virginia, and Dr. Vivek Shandas, Portland State University, on a study correlating redlining maps with current location of urban heat islands (April 2021)
  • Cate Mingoya, Groundwork USA, Victor Medina, Groundwork Hudson Valley, and Melissa Guevara, Groundwork Richmond, Virginia, on application of this information in community organizing and policy advocacy (May 2021)
  • Yana Garcia and Jaimie Huynh, California EPA, on CalEPA’s work on redlining and pollution (June 2021)
  • Roundtable Discussion: Enhancing multi-disciplinary and multi-sector collaboration to address redlining and current environmental disparities (July 2021)

Future topics will include: Title VI and civil rights program, EJ research and analysis, rural inequities, and others. Suggestions are welcomed. Registration information for each session forthcoming. For information, contact Charles Lee (lee.charles@epa.gov) or Sabrina Johnson (johnson.sabrina@epa.gov).

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